Star Ghana Foundation (SGF), in partnership with the Northern Development Authority (NDA), Northern Development Forum (NDF) and National Peace Council (NPC), has completed the final step of a project for the development of peace and security roadmap for the people of the five regions forming Northern Ghana.
The roadmap, which is an output of several regional and a national dialogue, is envisaged as a broad framework analyzing the drivers of conflict, insecurity and under-development of northern Ghana, both past and present, and planned actions on the identified drivers of conflict and offer recommendations for coordinated and complementary actions by state and non-state actors.
Executive Director, Star Ghana Foundation, Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, speaking at the final national dialogue, for the roadmap development, indicated that the dialogue provides a platform for policy actors, development practitioners and other key stakeholders to reflect on the drivers of conflict in northern Ghana, situate it within a national context, refine and validate the outcomes of the regional inputs and trigger collective actions.
“We all know that peace is a prerequisite for development and without peace there cannot be development in the northern part as we have seen over the years, so this is to bring stakeholders together, identify root causes of these conflicts and see how best they can be addressed.
This roadmap would direct our engagement with various stakeholders because we developed it together with them in a joint effort. In fact, the input from the affected people in the north has been amazing and we hope implementing it will not be too much of a challenge,” he said.
He emphasized that various engagements will take place in the coming days to adopt the northern sector roadmap as a national document to continuously play its role in ensuring peace and promoting development in the northern sector of Ghana.
Chief Executive Officer, NDA, Dr Alhassan Sulemana Anamzoya, urged the people of the north to appreciate the key role of peace in the development and modernization of societies considering the painful price that they have paid as people of Northern Ghana for the various conflicts that have savaged the region.
“The initiative by Star Ghana Foundation and its partners to diagnose the driver of conflict and insecurity in northern Ghana and explore strategies to tackling these drivers couldn’t have come at a better time and the NDA sees it as a great opportunity to engage societies in which the NDA can implement the outcomes and policies,” he said.
He also took the opportunity to draw the attention of corporate organizations to the issue of unemployment in northern Ghana, particularly the uneducated and unskilled teaming youth who are usually exploited by influential people and politicians for conflict and selfish interest.
Acting Commissioner of the UK to Ghana, Daniel Smith, indicated that as a longstanding international friend and partner, the UK is committed to ensuring peace and stability in Ghana as prerequisite to promote economic growth.
“We have a strong interest in supporting Ghana to maintain your reputation as a beacon of stability, prosperity, and as a peacekeeper in the wider sub-region. This past year, the UK government has spent over £1.2 million pounds to support Ghana’s counter terrorism strategy and provided professional development courses for the military and police,” he said.
Adding that the heightened threat of terrorism in neighboring countries calls for an urgent need to build Ghana’s capacity to prevent, pre-empt, protect and respond to any such attacks- as specified in Ghana’s own national framework for preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism. The project was funded wit a grant from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the Government of United Kingdom.